Just like all major makers of DRAM, SK Hynix produced its first DDR5 memory chips a couple of years ago and has been experimenting with the technology since then. To that end, it is not surprising that the company displayed its DDR5 RDIMM at CES 2020, which implies that development is proceeding as planned.

At the trade show, SK Hynix demonstrated its 64 GB DDR5 RDIMM with ECC rated for a 4800 MT/sec/pin data transfer rate. The module marked as HMCA8GR8MJR4C-EB carries 20 memory chips marked as H5CNAG4NMJ as well as IDT’s P8900-Z2 register clock driver (RCD). The memory devices are marked differently than the ones SK Hynix used for 16 GB RDIMM back in late 2018, though we do not know the difference.

The DDR5 RDIMMS feature 288 pins on a slightly curved edge connector (to reduce the insertion force on every pin), just like DDR4 modules, yet its layout and design are a bit different when compared to DDR4 to prevent installment of DDR5 modules into DDR4 slots and vice versa.

It is unknown whether SK Hynix has already started to sample its DDR5 RDIMMs with developers of server platforms and servers, but it is obvious that all DRAM makers are aligning their DDR5 production schedules with CPU designers and other companies.

At present, it is unclear when exactly the first DDR5 platforms are set to hit the market, but a good guess would be 2021. One of the first platforms to confirm support for DDR5 memory has been Intel's Xeon Sapphire Rapids, set for deployment in the Aurora Supercomputer. AMD support for DDR5 is unknown so far.

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Source: SK Hynix

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  • Rudde - Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - link

    DDR5 has two independent 40 bit channels, as you suggested. DDR4 has only one channel.
  • Manch - Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - link

    50/50 chance you'll get it right if you dont look so....this is not hard...at all....Not even the slightest.
  • willis936 - Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - link

    My success rate with binary keyed connectors is less than 50%.

    >push USB in
    >it doesn’t go in
    >flip it over
    >push it in
    >it doesn’t go in
    >flip it over
    >push it in
    >it goes in
  • HollyDOL - Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - link

    Oi, that sounds so familiar :-))
  • azfacea - Monday, January 13, 2020 - link

    Sapphire Rapids is definitely not going to be the first DDR5 system. its targeted for Q4 2021. I highly doubt it wont be delayed further as its tied to the EUV node after intel 10nm which continues to be 90% fiction and 10% real volume. AMD/IBM or AWS w/ ARM or China would surely have something way sooner.
  • eek2121 - Monday, January 13, 2020 - link

    You are correct. Zen 4 will be the first product to utilize DDR5. *ducks*
  • soresu - Monday, January 13, 2020 - link

    DDR5 support seems a reasonable assumption after 4 generations of DDR4 products.

    The only question is, will it only use DDR5 - or will it also support DDR4, like those Phenom chips that supported DDR2 or 3 depending on the motherboard.
  • The_Assimilator - Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - link

    There will almost certainly be no backwards compatibility, firstly because it makes the die larger, secondly because DDR5 is a completely different beast to DDR4, thirdly because those combo boards were rare, finally because AMD will transition to AM5 for their CPUs that support DDR5.
  • close - Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - link

    It's not about combo boards but having the CPU's IMC support both DDR4 and DDR5, allowing you to put it in boards with either. Basically pull off what AM3 CPUs already did, with the IMC supporting DDR2 and DDR3 memory.
  • Vatharian - Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - link

    IBM had DDR5-specced memory controller ready for some time. Power10 is set to be *available* 2020Q3, with support for it.

    I wouldn't be surprised if they enabled some P9 systems with DDR5 compatibility, like they did with 8+ (afaik it has DDR3 controller with DDR4 offchip adapter inbetween).

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